Snake Stick

This is a quick instructable on how to construct a snake stick of basically the same materials professionals use.
A snake stick is a hooked tool used to immobilize, hold, and pick up snakes. Especially useful for moving or studying snakes in the wild. Also makes a serviceable walking stick.

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Step 1: Materials!

Basically, I use a roller cage, a golf club handle, and some electrical tape. This is the surefire items list. How you harvest the three pieces you use can change, though they rarely deviate far from a pair of pliers or two and a Sawzall, Dremel, or pipe cutter. Almost forgot, the most important, SAFETY GOGGLES! I know I'm not your mother, (she's probably far more attractive), but trust me, red hot metal shavings are not good corneal conditioner.

Step 2: Make the Cut!

I harvested my golf club handle from a rooftop, in Cuyahoga Falls. I recommend using steel handles. Though I have never tried graphite, it is reasonable to assume it has too much flex.
My club handle had already been bent until it snapped, but in order to make sure the hole is round, I still had to cut off a small section.
Choose the length that fits you best. My current stick is about 50 inches. This one is about 40.
Dremel, Sawzall, pipe cutter, whatever. Just be careful.

Step 3: Disassemble the Roller Cage.

One of the best steps, Destruction.
Don't really care how you get it done, just do it. Remember.
I found that to remove the outer wires, it's easiest to just grab the opposing ones and pull HARD.
After that, you can hit the plastic end caps with a hammer until they break. Then there are a couple retaining washers. I just cut them with a pair of side cutters. Afterwards, remove the handle in roughly the same manner as the plastic end caps.

Step 4: Insertion.

Go ahead. You know you want to.
Check to make sure your fit is loose enough to slide in. Go all the way to the first bend.

Step 5: Solder the Shoulder!

Normally, I use plumbing solder to affix the hook to the handle. I needed this for a friend, immediately, so electric solder is what I had.
Put a good bead around the entire shoulder.
If using plumber's solder, make sure to put some flux on there, then heat up the joint really well and touch the solder to it. If you did it right, the joint will suck the solder in.
If using electric solder, it is a little more difficult. The entire handle and hook are essentially one big heat sink. To that end I would say, just try your best. We're going to stabilize this joint in a moment.
I suppose you could also use epoxy or J.B. Weld, though I never have.

Step 6: Stabilize the Joint.

Here's where it all comes together.
Start a couple of inches up onto the handle and begin a wrap of electrical tape.

This step is fairly important. It not only stabilizes the joint but it also protects the snake from any deformities caused by the hammer.

I have never encountered a snake large enough to pull the hook out of the handle, although I suppose they are out there. In that case, I guess, I probably wouldn't try to pick it up.

Step 7: Finish!

Okay, this is a pretty neat thing to have, especially if you hike at all. My girl and I participate in the Hiking Sprees here in NE Ohio, and this makes a convenient walking stick when used upside down. Also, it lends a certain air of authenticity to your claims of being a "woodsman."

Here, I must make my verbal warning against snake-handling. I, in no way, shape or form guarantee that a snake won't bite you while wielding this stick. Though it does make it a little easier to hold them at bay. If you have no experience with reptiles, I suggest a book. The Audubon society publishes great books with detailed pictures from which it is easy to tell whether or not you should attempt to move or study a snake in the wild. By constructing or using this accoutrement, you assume all liability and responsibility.

As for technique, I may post an instructable in the spring when there are more snakes around. Until then, Jeff Corwin is the best resource for fine technique on television. Study and Learn his EVERY move before attempting to catch, move or handle any snake.

Like most hobbies, your best bet is to start small and NON-VENOMOUS. Don't go jumping into a timber rattler's den.

Above all, USE COMMON SENSE! Don't go looking for trouble where none exists,
and don't sue me when you get bit . We all get bit. It sort of goes with herpetology. Suck it up and don't be a litigious whiner.


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    25 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 7

    This is actually a sweet idea I am gonna make one this week. I am sure this will work allot better than a stick

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    Yeah, I actually borrowed this idea from a show I watched years and years ago that had Jeff Corwin in it. The golf club handle was their idea. The paint roller was mine.


    8 years ago on Step 6

    In order to dress it up nicely you could always put some colored hearshrink around it after this step

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    i tryed this but before i connected the club handle to the roller handle i just cut up about 2 foot of solder into like 1 inch pieces, dropped the solder into the club handle, put the roller handle in, turned it back over, then torched the end to melt the solder, it worked great, you should try it!!!

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Not bad...whats the biggest snake you've used it on? I've never found a snake in the wild that was too large to pick up by hand, so my snake hook in used for my argentine boa and my carpet python.

    3 replies

    FYI, this is a bit complex for most people. The way I built mine was far easier...I'll have to post how I did it...

    I used it quite successfully on a few Racers while living in Kentucky, maybe 2 feet if I'm not exaggerating. I find it's really useful for holding the head down while getting a firm grip. Unfortunately, where I live currently, there really isn't too much in the way of snakes. Sad really.


    Yeah actually you can use graphite shafts cause if you heat up the paint roller and stick it in it will form to it. I then put some superglue on it and covered it with electrical tape. Works like a charm...

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Step 7

    Awesome.. you just saved me from having to actually purchase something... and it sure beats the search for just the right stick before every hike. gracias

    1 reply

    hah! you live in Cuyahoga Falls too. i go to cuyahoga falls high, r u in school or are you older? (to see if i for some reason know u lol)

    2 replies

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I spy the quote of the week:

    Like most hobbies, your best bet is to start small and NON-VENOMOUS.

    If only they had given that advice before my uncle took up stamp-collecting... LOL

    It may just be my being slow, but it took me until the last step to figure out what it did...I figured a snake snick was just a name for some other kind of gadget. Maybe put a quick summary of its use in the intro?